PHILADELPHIA – NFL interception leader Chauncey Gardner-Johnson will be sidelined indefinitely with a lacerated kidney, a league source confirmed to JAKIB Sports.
The Eagles are still gathering information on whether to place the veteran safety on injured reserve, something that would require Gardner-Johnson to miss at least four games. Philadelphia is currently 10-1 with six regular-season games to play and could clinch a playoff berth on Sunday by beating Tennessee and getting some help elsewhere.
NFL Media Network was the first to report the nature of Gardner-Johnson’s injury.
Gardner-Johnson, who has six interceptions for the NFL’s second-ranked defense, suffered the late in the first quarter of the Eagles’ Sunday night win over Green Bay after a nasty collision across the middle with Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson. He was in obvious pain before being carted inside for what was first labeled as a rib injury. A lacerated kidney is often accompanied by a non-displaced rib injury, something former Eagles tight end Zach Ertz suffered at the end of the 2019 season before returning to action in the playoff loss to Seattle that season.
The typical timeframe for this type of injury is four weeks, according to a medical source but that can increase depending on the severity of the injury.
Gardner-Johnson, 24, was replaced in the lineup against the Packers by undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship, who led the defense in tackles with nine and intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the red zone early in the second quarter of the 40-33 win.
Blankenship is expected to continue to start on Sunday against Tennessee opposite Marcus Epps with K’Von Wallace as the top backup. Philadelphia also released a couple of practice squad players on Tuesday: running back Kennedy Brooks and offensive tackle Roderick Johnson, a clear indication the organization will be bringing in at least one body at the position.
The Eagles acquired Gardner-Johnson from the New Orleans Saints in August, along with a 2025 seventh-round draft pick, for a 2023 fifth-round draft pick and the latter of their two sixth-round draft picks in 2024.